Facts from research to help you set and achieve your goals

If I tell you to list down 5 goals right now, I suppose you can quickly do so. There are so many things we wish to improve within ourselves, so we set all those highly demanding goals but rarely do we achieve them.

Don’t worry, I’m not gonna offend you for not achieving your goals.. precisely because I’m in the same boat

Soooo, I’ve searched and found some research done in this regard to help us make “our dream come true” only if we put in the efforts of course!

Okay so imagine Swati plans on completing her book by the end of the month. Her goal is to write five pages per day.

She could frame something like –

A. I want to write five pages a day because that will help me complete my book by the end of this month.

B. I have to cut off my TV time to write five pages a day.

What do you think which statement is more likely to yeild better results?

It is found that people who set approach goals (goals that talk about positive outcomes that people want to achieve) have a better chance of achieving those goals.

It talks about the stuff you want to do, in order to achieve your goal.

(As you might have guessed in this case, statement A)

Then there are avoidance goals (goals that talk about the negative outcomes that people want to avoid). Research suggests that the chance of you achieving this type of goals is low.

It talks about the stuff you want to avoid, in order to achieve your goal.

This type of goal is also linked to higher emotional distress.

For eg – instead of ‘eating healthy’ your goal is to ‘avoid gaining weight’.

To ‘avoid gaining weight’ you have to avoid temptations of junk food from everywhere.. it’s on TV, magazines, on your social media, even the billboards you see on roads. Then if you give in to the temptation, you’ll feel guilty for doing so… This all leads to failure in achieving your goal.

So step one – Set Approach Goals.

Now let’s go back to our earlier example. Swati is still waiting for the next step

Now Swati can directly move on and start implementing the next day.

If she’s like us, she will do it for a few days, maybe a week or two and then eventually give up.

Here comes a important step –

After setting your goal you need to specify when will you do your desired activity.

Here Swati needs to decide when will she write those 5 pages for her book. Maybe she will do it right after her breakfast sitting on the bench in her garden and after she finishes writing she will water the plants in her garden.

That’s it. You need to fit the activity into your daily schedule and stay consistent with it.

It seems easy to stay on track when you do so, right?

Control theory states that the rate of progress towards your goals will determine the emotions you experience during goal directed actions.

Research done by Baumeister and his colleagues show that self control in one activity reduces self control in subsequent activity.

It means that if you do something that requires self control like dieting for example, after that if you study, you’ll find it difficult to stay focused on studying.

A recent study suggests that the energy necessary for self control maybe tied to blood glucose levels.

So what can you do? Here are some of my suggestions –

– Don’t do two activities requiring self control back to back.

– In the meantime when you take a break try some stuff that leads to autonomy. (do as you please)

– If you really have to do the other activity needed, make sure it’s kinda habitual. For example, you need self control for eating healthy and after that you also need self control to go to gym. But if going to gym is more or less of a habitual thing, you won’t have much problem.

Okay so, achieving your goals also need you to be –

committed to achieve it

confident enough in your ability to achieve it

These two qualities work together to increase your persistence to achieve your goals.

So remember,

You Got This! you can do whatever you set your mind to

Andddd,

You’re a Badass. when you commit you’ll do something, you get it done


P.S – One more good news for you,

Achieving goals that express our authentic or true selves seems to contribute most to an enhanced sense of meaning and purpose in life and to greater psychological health and vitality. (McGregor & Little, 1998; Ryan & Deci, 2000)

Lots of love and best wishes to help you achieve all your goals friends!! ❤️ 🙂

Writing a diary…

I’ve started writing a diary since the start of this month.

I always wondered, why do people keep diaries? Why to write you day in it? It won’t be of any use in future…

Recently, I came across a very beautiful article written on WordPress by a girl who kept writing a dairy since she was 7/8 years old. The way she told her experience and the beautiful way in which she conveyed the importance and need of writing a diary touched my heart.

Therefore I decided to write a diary and see what happens.

Also when I started, I was having emotional imbalance. I read it somewhere that writing about your emotions helps.

So that’s what pushed me to try this new ritual.

I’ve been writing for a month now and I realised that everything that girl mentioned in her blog was so true! And there are many other benefits as well.

I’d like to share them with you.

Here are few ways in which keeping a dairy helped me –

1. Improved my writing.

I feel it much easier to express my emotions through words now.

As I write about my daily life and what happened and how I felt, it also kinda improves my storytelling. Every day when you write a diary, you eventually try different and interesting ways to tell the incident.

It’s fun!

2. Reduced my overthinking.

When you are writing about something, you tend to analyse it. You cannot write the same stuff again and again. At some point (usually after 3-5 mins) you run out of negative thoughts to write.

That’s helpful. It helps you gain clarity on your thoughts. When your thoughts are on paper, it’s easy to analyse them and rule out the ones that really don’t make any sense.

But when these same thoughts continue to stay in your head, you get into downward spiral of overthinking.

3. I can enjoy good memories, any time! 🙂

Yes! When you’re writing about your good emotions, note the details of the situation and express yourself.

When you go through it the next week you will feel as if you’re living the experience once again.

You will feel grateful for those beautiful moments you had in your life.

4. I realised every day is new.

Now this might sound pretty obvious. But when you write diary you truly feel it. Every single day is unique, no matter how same your tedious chores are. There are many different things that happen every day.

I used to think how boring my life is, doing the same repetitive tasks again and again. But now I understand, there are many small, new elements you can include in your daily life to make it more interesting.

This might also remind you that every day is a fresh start and you have the ability to make it more beautiful.

5. Reduces stress –

When you are stressed or overwhelmed and there are so many thoughts in your mind that you find hard to control, writing them down can be helpful.

Once they are on paper, they do not bother you that much.

6. Makes it easy to reflect on yourself –

It gives you time and opportunity to think about yourself. About your feelings, about your growth, about your problems and about your happiness.

Life is short. It goes by quick. Between out hectic schedules it’s easy to miss out the little moments of happiness and growth. You need to hold on to those little moments and reflect on them. Pay attention to them. Live them.

7. It makes it super easy to track your progress –

You want to develop a habit. Or you want to read 500 pages of the novel this month.

All of these tasks need you to keep a track record of your progress.

How cool would it be to write that – You are following up on your habit or you are on your way to achieve your goal every day in your diary!

You’d feel proud and happy. Even when you are not able to keep up to your word, when you write about it, you feel the need to continue the behaviour in future.

So that’s how this “new” behaviour has now become my helpful habit.

You can try this out too guys!

What is your experience with writing a diary? Or starting a new habit?

Please share in the comments below!

I’d like to read! 🙂

Hope you all are having a fantastic week my friends!!

What’s next? Nah. I enjoy what’s now.

Everyone these days is waiting for something. Everyone is expecting something new, something different to happen.

We have gotten into the habit of asking ‘What’s next?’ , What’s the next big thing you want? What’s the next big thing you are waiting for?

It’s something like – when we’re children, we want to grow up. When we grow up, we want to become child again.

I mean we want some things to change, but when they do, we want to go back again.

This happens a lottt (hating your present and wishing it were different).

When you are single you wish you were engaged with someone, when you are, you again wish to be single.

When you are not earning you wish for the time you would, when the time comes, you wish to get out of it.

When you are in school you are excited about your college life. When you start going to college, you miss school.

When you are at home, you wish to step out and live on your own, when the time comes, you long for the warmth of your home.

Soo, instead of expecting something different – Why don’t we cherish our present moment?

If you do not enjoy a moment, you lose it forever. If you enjoy it, it is yours forever.

-Debasish Mridha

Don’t you think we should stop waiting for the next big thing and start enjoying our life moment to moment?

And when you start living the present moment, believe me you will find so many things that are beautiful right now. So much to appreciate. So much to notice. So much to feel.

As I write this – I’m at my home. There won’t be any lectures in college today. So am I waiting for the time when I’ll go to college and meet my friends? No. (i mean of course i want to meet them but i have decided to enjoy the present moment) When I’m at home I want to spend some time with my parents. I want to feel the moments when they are with me, we all are living together, I get to see them everyday. I want to notice the way they smile, I want to remember their voice when they say my name.

I want to enjoy time with my little sister. I want to make her laugh, I want to paint with her, play with her, sing and dance with her, watch her grow.

Because I know – This time won’t come back.

I choose to live it fully. I choose to feel the moments with my loved ones. I choose to stay in present.

Above all, we cannot afford not to live in the present. He is blessed over all mortals who loses no moment of the passing life in remembering the past.

– Henry David Thoreau

Look around you, everything that you see can change in a year.

Are there some people you want to spend more time with?

Are there some things you want to do for them?

Are there some plans you need to execute?

Are there any trips you want to plan?

Is there someone whom you want to remind of how loved he/she is?

Is there anything you need to do for yourself?

You better do it Right Now, because you haven’t seen tomorrow.

Rejoicing in ordinary things is not sentimental or trite. It actually takes guts.

– Pema Chodron

Even when you step into sunshine in winter. Close your eyes and feel it’s warmth. Feel that’s it’s 2019. This day will never come back. Open your eyes and notice the surroundings, do you find beauty? Smile at your friends and enjoy your time with them.

Many people are alive, but don’t touch the miracle of being alive.

– Thich Nath Hanh

There’s this beautiful poem I’d like to share –

Live In The Moment

Listen, feel, love completely;
Absorb, enjoy oh so sweetly.
Nothing exists but right now.
Show the world you know how.

Immersed, focused, involved;
Sad moments will be resolved
Just as joyous times go fast,
Sad’s shadow will lose its cast.

It’s but a moment all will live,
So leave an imprint that will give
Your signature on the past
So your moments now will last.

Gregory Huyette

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